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Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets

Wells, Melanie R., Angel, Lauren P. and Arnould, John P.Y. 2016, Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets, Biology open, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 921-927, doi: 10.1242/bio.018085.

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Title Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets
Author(s) Wells, Melanie R.
Angel, Lauren P.ORCID iD for Angel, Lauren P. orcid.org/0000-0002-8696-3945
Arnould, John P.Y.ORCID iD for Arnould, John P.Y. orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Journal name Biology open
Volume number 5
Issue number 7
Start page 921
End page 927
Total pages 7
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Place of publication Cambridge. Eng.
Publication date 2016-06-15
ISSN 2046-6390
Keyword(s) bio-logging
camera
GPS
foraging ecology
local enhancement
seabirds
Summary Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26), in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change.
Language eng
DOI 10.1242/bio.018085
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Company of Biologists
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30084282

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.